Saturday, March 7, 2015

Dave Paris - Jury of My Peers

2015 – Mr. & Mrs. Paris Music
By Phillip Smith; Mar 7, 2015

The latest album, Jury of My Peers, from Iowan Dave Paris is a smorgasbord of thirteen original and amazing guitar-centric instrumentals.  Paris keeps it fresh with varying styles and tempos, burning his own stamp of ownership into each track with blazing melodic guitar riffs.  

As if busting through a wall like the Kool-Aid Man, “Romans Road” takes a no-holds-barred approach to greeting the listener with a an unexpected blast of hard-driving metal-laced rhythm.  Besides the furious guitar licks prominent on “Bought by Blood”, I love the swampy harmonica intro from Cyprian Alexzander.  Stand-out anthem, “Night Before Last”, is beautifully powerful.  Paris introduces a small string section composed of violinists Natalie Brown, Mike Hall, and Curt Harman, which adds tremendously to this song’s unique appeal.      

As far as the heaviest tracks go, I’m drawn to both “Last 2nd” and “Author of Fate”.  A funky bassline from Barbe Paris and intriguing beats from drummer Brent Harknett help make “Last 2nd” a great rock instrumental.  Paris performs this with an undeniable mastery.  “Author of Fate” kicks off in a classic Metallica form, with lots of fury. Paris carefully injects a smidge of progressive rock into this one before returning to the song’s metal roots.      

Dave breaks out the slide, and slips in a really unexpected treat in “Wood, Wire, Wind”.  Steeped heavily in North Mississippi country blues, this one hits the spot.  Alexzander returns with harmonica in tow for this track.  Based on this track alone, I’d love to hear what Paris would do with an entire album devoted to the Blues.

It’s so enjoyable to hear a guitar master such as Paris, do what he does best.  Fresh and seriously focused, Jury of My Peers has edged its way onto my list of favorite instrumental rock albums.  

For more info on Dave Paris visit his website

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